France Télécom bullying trial sheds light on spate of suicides

A landmark trial of corporate responsibility has ended, with telecoms operator Orange – formerly france Télécom – accused of “moral harassment” leading to a wave of suicides in the 2000s.

The prosecution has asked for the maximum sentences: a fine of €75,000 (£67,000) for france Télécom and a year’s imprisonment for three top former executives. The verdict is expected on 20 December.

It has been a long and arduous two-and-a-half months, emotionally taxing both for the accused and for those who came to give evidence against them.

The court heard heart-rending testimony from families of those who died.

In all, the cases of 19 suicides were included by the prosecution, along with 20 others who claim to have suffered as victims of managerial abuse.

Image caption France Télécom workers protest, Marseille 2009: “Stop management-by-terror” says the banner

The management plan was to cut about 22,000 jobs out of France Télécom’s 130,000 total, to ensure the firm’s survival.

‘France Télécom is responsible for my suicide’

Each story had to be told in detail – like that of Rémy Louvradoux, a…

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